Gov. Kemp preaches restraint amid fuel frenzy
ATLANTA - Gov. Brian Kemp urged consumers not to stock up on fuel as gas stations run short on supply and prices steadily rise.
"My main message to Georgians today is that the most effective way to address the fuel shortages we are experiencing is for everyone to remain calm and only get the fuel you need to carry out essential activities," said Gov. Kemp. "Please do not go out and fill up every five gallon can that you have. Doing so will only mean this shortage will last longer and more Georgians will be unable to make it to work, take their kids to school or get to their medical appointment."
The run on gas comes as in response to the Colonial pipeline shutdown following a cyber attack May 7. That pipeline supplies states up and down the East Coast.
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Late Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter to Gov. Kemp and the governors of surrounding states to notify them that they issued a waiver to allow the distribution of "winter mix" gas through the end of the month. The EPA requires fuel providers switch to a "low volatility" blend during the summer months to limit ozone pollution.
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"While we do not believe the winter fuel mix will be enough to completely fix the shortages we're currently seeing, we are optimistic it will help increase supply in the short term," Gov. Kemp explained.
The governor also signed an Executive Order Monday declaring "A State of Emergency for Petroleum Shortage." The order waives the weight restrictions on trucks carrying fuel and suspends the collection of Motor Vehicle Fuel Taxes. The Executive Order remains in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, unless the governor extends it.
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, the state gasoline tax is $0.287 per gallon. The tax is $0.322 per gallon for diesel fuel.
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Attorney General Chris Carr said his office has already received more than 300 complaints of potential price gouging.
"I want to warn consumers to be on the lookout for scams and possible price gouging," said Carr. "We want to make sure you understand how to report such instances. No one should take advantage of consumers who are trying to continue their daily routines and we will review all price-gouging complaints to ensure that the law is followed."
To report price gouging in metro Atlanta, call 404-651-8600. Outside of the metro area, consumers can call 800-869-1123. Consumers can also file reports at www.consumer.ga.gov.
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